MacBank keeps on getting bigger

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Macquarie Bank, Australia's biggest recruiter in the banking and financial services sector over the last few years, doesn't expect to slow down its hiring boom at all in 2007, although it does admit that competition for staff is toughening up.

The Sydney-based bank has added another 1,200 staff in the past 10 months, taking its total to 9,400, nearly double the number of just three years ago.

Its international numbers have quadrupled over the same period and have jumped 28% in the past 10 months to 3,200. Much of that growth has occurred in Asia, where it's established a strong investment bank division.

That pace of growth is expected to continue this year at least. CEO Allan Moss says competition for staff, particularly international staff, is increasing. "We're trying to hire a lot of people, and it's definitely becoming more competitive, especially in international markets."

Still, the bank says it hasn't seen any need to alter is remuneration plans, which include generous bonus and share packages, but tend to vest over an extended period.

"We haven't seen any reason to modify that," Moss says. "Our voluntary turnover is just 6% per annum for our top 20% of staff. That's pretty low."

Macquarie is regarded as one of the best payers in the Australian investment banking market, with an average salary package per employee of AU$350k. This includes short and long-term incentives.

It is bettered only by another listed investment bank, Babcock & Brown, with an average salary for its 900 employees of AU$500k.

Macquarie recently outsourced some of its HR functions to Accenture.

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